A man who was slapped with a fine of €500 for farting in public last year, now has a reduced amount of €100 after he challenged the matter at court.
The unidentified Austrian man was charged with the fine in Vienna after ‘offending public decency’ by ‘farting provocatively’ at police. However, following an appeal, the man has to now pay a much lesser amount.
In the court, the man argued against the hefty amount charged from him and said that his flatulence is a ‘biological process’ and claimed that blowing the wind must be deemed rightful under the freedom of expression, even if so done “deliberately”.
The incident followed an encounter with the police, when the man got up from a bench in a park, looked at the police officers and ‘let go a massive intestinal wind apparently with full intent,’ UK media reported. The police added that the man had behaved ‘provocatively and uncooperatively’ when he was asked to identify himself.
In Austria, freedom of expression can take various forms including, noises and communication and is just not limited to speech alone.
While delivering the matter, the court said the ‘sound or communication must have communicative intent’ which isn’t quite the case here.
However, the court deemed the man’s action ‘ridiculous’ as this mode of communication ‘transcends boundaries of decency’. However, they reduced the fine owing to the ‘average’ culpability of the culprit. It stated that it is his first offence.